The Apple Watch 4 is the first big upgrade to the device that the brand has thrown our way for a number of years – in fact, never since the launch of the first model years ago have we had anything different.
We spent some decent time with the new device at the Apple launch event recently and have added in some extra thoughts based on our time in the demo area – there are a few new features to trawl through in this new wrist-piece.
The Apple Watch 4 is coming in four variants: 40mm and 44mm sizes, and with or without LTE. In terms of the Apple Watch 4 release date, we’re looking at September 14 for pre-orders, but September 21 if you want to actually get this thing on your wrist.
If you asked most people what upgrade they’d like on their Apple Watch, most would say they’d either like it to be round, or to have a large display. Well, they’re not going to get the former, no matter how many patents for more rounded designs Apple holds, but the latter has come to pass.
The design of the Apple Watch 4 is much like many would expect: it’s based on the previous four models (the first Watch was retooled and re-released, remember), but now is ever so slightly larger.
The same quick (ish) release straps are back – it would be something of a surprise if they disappeared given the Watchband ecosystem Apple has built up around them – and the heart rate monitor is present at the back of the device (more on that later).
The digital crown, the spinning dial that allows you to flick through lists and hit ‘enter’ when clicked in, is back (with a red-ringed version denoting that the Watch 4 has LTE connectivity) and above / below that (depending on which wrist you have the device on) is the power / multitasking button.
It’s also now haptic, meaning that you can scroll it and get a vibrating ‘tick’ every time you scroll past something on the screen – it’s a really useful upgrade that makes using the scrolling crown more useful, and there’s even a slightly audible click as it rolls around.
Everything feels polished, well-made and light enough on the wrist. The rear of the Watch is even ceramic and sapphire to add that little bit of glitz to proceedings and make sure that cellular signal can get through well – and it’s really visually striking when you see it for the first time.